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Stealing America Right Before Your Eyes

Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 10:44 AM

George W. Bush is lying to the public again.

He hit the campaign trail over the weekend with the scare line that Democrats will raise your taxes. We'll point out (again) that this is impossible, even with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate.

Any such legislation would require the president's signature.

The tax cuts which Mr. Bush enacted in 2001 exist through 2010.

Speaking of which, when President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007 (HR 5122), it included language that would seem to modify the rules as to when and why the president may authorize martial law � otherwise known as posse comitatus. The bill is quite lengthy, but the pertinent text is Section 1076 Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies, and appears on page 322 of the PDF version.

The pertinent text makes changes clarifies the language of the Insurrection Act (USC Section 333, Chapter 15, Title 10), replacing 'antique terminology' and adding explicit references to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The bill actually suggests that such was a possible cause for the reluctance to use the armed forces during Hurricane Katrina.

The list of items wherein the president may declare martial law includes:

Natural Disasters
Epidemics or Other Serious Public Health Emergencies
Terrorist Attack/Incident
Other Condition

� qualified only by domestic violence to the extent that local and state authorities cannot maintain public order, and said violence obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice thereunder. The president must notify Congress of his determination to use this authority, and repeat that notification every 14 days for the duration. (I'd feel better about this if the sitting president didn't have a penchant for signing statements disposing of pesky reporting requirements that he doesn't like.)

The term 'insurrection' has been amended to 'enforcement of the laws to restore public order'.

It's a bad sign when one of the foremost conservative commentators in America < A HREF="">lambastes Vice-President Dick Cheney, calling Cheney's comments clinical.

But of course, this whole 'dunk in the water' comedy act is like Sen. George Allen trying to disavow his use of the word 'macaque' in describing a dark-complexioned man. Cheney, Hennen, Snow, Mrs. Cheney � none of them can describe what, in fact, the VP actually meant when he called 'a dunk in the water' a 'no-brainer'.

Instead, their defense hinges upon Cheney not having actually said waterboarding, the empty assurance that America does not torture, and the old standard of questioning their opponent's patriotism.

As Lynne Cheney asked CNN's Wolf Blitzer when an interview touched upon the 'dunk in the water' comment and CNN's airing of an insurgent video showing snipers taking shots at American forces.

"Don't you want the U.S. to win?" she asked.

Unfortunately, Wolf dropped the ball.

This question carries implications � if you answer yes, you imply agreement with the speaker's methods; if you answer no, it's implied you are an idiot, morally or ethically flawed, or unpatriotic. It is not about victory, but about a person's integrity, loyalty, honor, intelligence, morals, and patriotism. (A similar phrase to watch for is, "I'm sure we would agree ...")

So if we were to allow schoolchildren to carry firearms as a means of defending themselves in the event of a school shooting, and a parent expressed concern over the wisdom of allowing firearms on school property, the question would be, "Don't you want your children to be safe?"

And have you stopped beating your spouse? (Yes implies that you did, in fact, beat them. No implies that you beat them and you continue to do so.)

This kind of question deserves a hard, fact-driven answer that concedes nothing. The Republicans have successfully used this against Democrats throughout, and the Democrats always temporize.

Instead, that question should be the opening for reporters to press for proof that the administration's actions are necessary or significant advance us towards that victory they claim to desire so much.

As if Twinkies and Snickers bars weren't enough, we introduce Deep-Fried Coke.

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